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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 5, 4 May 1907
DENIS DISCOURSES. Dear Mr Editor,—Sure, I’m beginnin’ to think life ’ud be tolerable if it wasn’t for its pleasures. Katie an’ mesilf are nearly run aff our feet wid banquets an’ entertainmints, an’ both av us are wishin’ we weren’t quite so popular. This wake aisily takes the cake for divarsions, an’ I may as well tell ye at wance that we want to the Bluff wid the ould identities on 'Widnesday, an’ had a rale good time, but I naden’t till ye that whin ye know that such reservoirs av fun an’ good humour as Johnny Mitchell, J.W. av that ilk, Davie Roche, an’ Duncan McEarlane wore among the company. I was glad Davie was there, for there were that manny Scotch paple in Sutherland’s fine hall that I’d have felt lonely wiclout him. There’s wan thing I will say for the ould paple, an’ that is that they’ve got the patience av Job. Begorra, I doubt if oven he’s have stud bein’ shunted about for an hour an’ a half betwane Invercargill an’ the Bluff, but thin, as wan ould chap towld me, it used to take him a day an’ sometimes longer, to walk from the Bluff to Invercargill, an’ he thought it was a grate improvemint to be able to do it in an hour an’ a. half afther forty yeans. "Well,” ses Corney, "he was a Patient ould chap an’ no mishtake. Ho was as willin’ to wait as the Irishman. Some years ago, three men, an Englishman, a Scotchman, an’ an Irishman, were senteiacod to death. The judge gave ache av thim the choice av bein’ hanged on whativir tree he .wished. The Englishman chose an oak tree, the Scotchman a birch tree. ‘What tree will you be hanged on ?’ said the judge to Pat. A gooseberry bush, yer honour,’ ses he. ‘But,’ ses the judge, ‘there isn’t one tall enough.’ ‘Thin, faith, yer honour,’ ses the Irishman, ‘l’ll wait till one has grown !’ ” 4- * 4Katie was moralisin’• about the old ladies we met at the gatherin’, an’ ses she—"l suppose they were gay young colleens whin they landed at the Bluff, an’ now luk at thim —mothers an’ grandmothers. mosht av thim.” "Yes,” ses I, "I’ll be bound that for long enough they felt like the gyrul that the song was written about. Here it is : THE EMIGRANT DAUGHTER. It’s not meself I’m grieving for, it’s not that I’m complaining, (He’s a good man, is Michael, and I’ve never felt his frown) But there’s sorrow beating on me like a long day’s raining. For the little wrinkled face I left in Kerry down. It’s just Herself I’m longing for. Herself and no other— Bo you mind the morns we walked to Mass, when all the fields were green ? ’Twas I that pinned your *kerchief, oh, me mother, mother, mother ! The wide seas, the cruel seas, and half the world between.
t’s the man’s part to say the word, > the wife’s to up and follow — 1 (It’s a fair land we’ve come to, and there’s plenty here for all). It’s not the homesick longing that lures me like a swallow, But the one voice across the world that draws me to its call. It’s just Herself I’m longing- for, Herself and no other — Do you mind the tales you told me when the turf was blazing bright? Me head upon your shoulder, oh, mo mother, mother, mother ! The broad seas between us and yourself alone to-night !, There’s decent neighbours all about you, there’s coming and there's going : It’s kind souls will bo about me when the little one is here ; But it's her word that I'm wanting, her comfort I’d be knowing. And her blessing on the two of us to drive away the fear. It’s just Herself I’m longing for, Herself and no other— Do you mind the soft spring mornings when you stitched the wedding gown ? The little careful stitches. oh, me mother, mother, mother ! Meself beyond the broad seas and you in Ivorrydown ! Whin we came home on Widnesday we found an invitation from Mr Scandrett to attind the installation banquet in Victoria Hall, an’ it was nearly midnight before wo got under the roof-tree av the O’Sheas for the night. Well, wo had no ind av a time there. Sure, the intilloct av the city was fully ropresintocl, an’ the spaohes were illigant indadc. His "Worship was in fine form, an’ his better half was lookin’ twinty years younger than ivir ; an’ wan ex-May or declared that she was responsible for the grate majority at the diction — an’ I belavc it. There were some fine singers, who give their songs in grand shtyle, but the gem av the evenin’ was whin that fine ould pioneer, Cr. Cleave, got on the floor. Jusht before that our genial provider av the good things av life came an’ put a cut-glass decanter full av Harper’s besht aerated wather fresh from the tower in front av him. Ses Ito mesilf —"Ye have made a mishtake this time, John !” But the spacho proved that he was right afther all, for it was wather that Robert axed for always, wather an’ nothin’ else. He had prayed for it, an’ towld thim he wud pray again, but ho musht get wather. He towld av his thravels from Auckland down till he landed home in the shwamp wathers av Invercargill. "We have got the finest water supply for the finest people in the world,” ses he. "Bring it in from Caroline Bay at Dipton, and you’ll have it cold and clear, sweet as a nut. I’ll pray again,” ses he. "Give him a dhrop av the crater,” Mr Mayor,” ses Davie Roche, an’ that fairly flabbergasted him. " All right, I’ll sit down,” ses ho, "an’ he took another pull at the decanter, amid grate clappuT av hands. "The best an’ longest speech you have made for over forty years,” ses I. "If ye don’t get enough wather at Dipton, bring down Lake Wakatipu an’ Lake Manapouri,” ses he..
•“Well," ses Bedalia, “I hope he won't be afthor let tin Lake Waka-tip-u loose on us, for I’d like to die comfortably, an’ I don’t fancy bein’ drowned.” Bedalia, ye see, Mr Editor, was always a great wan for comfort ; she reminds me av the only counthryman av mine that ivir conunitted suicide. Somewan said that Irishmen nivir commit suicide, an’ whin the argumint was advanced in a crowd av that nationality Pat was so unstrung that ho decided r Q show that they do sometimes commit a rash act. He accordingly disappeared, an’ tne man who employee! him shtarted a search. V luu he got to the barn he Uikt up towards the rafters, an' saw his man hangin’ wid a rope around his waist. ‘Wnut are ye up to, Pat ?' ho awd. ’Pm hangin’ mesilf,’ ses he. 'Why don’t yo put it around yer neck ?' 'Faith, i did, but I cudn’t breathe.’ 4- <s> ’Tis the grate oxcitemint the-*'police have been causin’ wid the private hotels. They wint down to the Club Hotel the other day, an’ got Conshtable McDonough to load some shtuff into a waggonette, and drive away wid it. Thin they found out that there was no harm in its bein’ on the premises, an’ they drove back wid it, an’ I’m not sure that they didn’t apologise for bein’ so hasty. They also paid a visit to the dear little, sweet little Shamrock in Spey shtreet, an’ captured some grog, but 10, an’ bohowld ! whin the landlady was charged wid unlawful sellin, the two principal witnesses for the police were nowhere to bo found, an the case had to be put ah’. “That accounts for it,” ses .Katie. “Accounts for what ?” ses I. “Why, ses she, “late on Widnesday afthernoon, I saw a crowd av half-dressed young min fearin' through the town, an’ they musht have been lukin’ for the missin’ witnesses.” “Katie,” ses I, “ye mushtn’t jump to conclusions like that ; sure, it was the harriers >e saw,” “Well,” ses she, I don’t care what ye call thim, but they were runnin’ like mad, an’ I was sorry for the poor craythurs, an’ I thought it was a shame they had to go at such a rate.” “Well,” ses I, “the throublo wid you is that ye a r o far too sympathetic ; you’re for all the world like the tourist that was cured by the verger a v an otil'd church. ■4- •4- 4'This is the tomb of Lady , who died of a broken heart when she heard that her husband had 'been killed at Bosworth,’ ses the verger, indicatin’ a crumblin’ vault. T had an aunt who died of a brokenheart, when she heard that her husband was killed fighting the Spanish Armada,' promptly returned the tourist. ‘Dear me ! You come of a very sympathetic race, sir ?’ ses the old verger, wid a shrewd look at his companion. ‘Oh, very,’ ses the tourist. ‘Talking of sympathetic natures, ses the ould man, 'the man that lies in that moss-grown grave yonder owed his death to his excess of sympathy.' ‘Really ! How so?’ inquired the tourist, in astonished tones. ‘He cried so much when he heard of the death of a man that had been at school with him sixty years be.ore, and whom he hadn’t seen since, that ho was drowned in his own tears. He couldn’t swim, you see,' ses the ver-
ger. The tourist had no more to say about his family afther that.” 4- 4- 4Ye shud havs been at Mr McKenzie’s meetin’ about the Land Bill 1 asht Saturday, Mr Editor. “Oor Tam,” as the Clutha paple call him, was good, but our Mr Buxton was great. Begorra, ye cud have heard a pin d-hrop whin he axed what shud be done wid the man that ’ud deprive a man av the right to the freehold ? Shoot-in’' was almosht too good for him, an’ I'm thinkin ’twill go hard wid the Governmint if the Premier av Makarewa ivir gets a chance to fill Mr Massey’s shoes. “Ye think he’d make short work av thim,” ses Katie. “I do,” ses I. ; “He’ll be apt to give the electors the same advice as the man did that offered farmers a recipe for destroyin’! potato pests on paymint av fivepence. I Ivirywan that sint the money;—an a lot did—got a posht card wid the followin’ directions :—’Hit the insect on the head wid an axe.’ ” 4” 4" 4* 4" “Well,” ses Corney, “there was a chap in Win-ton the Sunday before lasht that ’ud liked to have hit something wid an axe. Ye see, he’s a fine young fellow, an’ jusht a B he was dressed an’ ready to go to the church; a younger brother ran in an’ to wid him that their father’s pig was runnin’ down the shtreet. Well, he threw down his Bible an’ hymn-book, an give chase to the porker, an’ afther a long an’ excitin’ race he managed to catch up wid it, picked it up in his arms, an’ passin’ through crowds av church-goers, rached home, only to find that his brother had mishtaken another man’s pig for his father’s. “Sure,” ses Bedalia, “he musht have felt as angry as the young man in a cricket shirt an’-s-htraw hat that was wheelin’ a baby carriage backwards an’ forwards in front av a shmall suburban -house. He was as hot an’ angry as anny man cud be. ‘My dear,’ came a voice from the upper window av the house. Let me alone, can t you ?’ he snapped back, an’ wont on wheelin’ an’ moppin’ his face. An hour later the same voice came from the window’ in earnest an’ plea-din’ tones, ‘George, dear.’ ‘Well, what on earth do you want ? he shouted. ‘Have the water pipes burst ?’ - ‘No, George, dear, but you have been wheeling Amy’s doll all the afternoon ; is it not time for baby to have a turn ?’ ” DENIS.
The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 5, 4 May 1907
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